Hopefully you survived the first round of the fantasy football playoffs… or made them if you’re in a smaller league. With the number of live teams thinning by the week, I took a different spin on sleepers. So, these Week 16 fantasy football rankings will highlight the good and bad matchups for fringe starters (sleepers), plus yet another Christmas-themed Fun with Rankings. This week, it’s something you might want to skip if you hate sappiness.
Waivers | Week 16 and 17 SOS Ranks
Fantasy Football 101 (weather, lineups, trading, more)
All in Football (video pod)
2022 Week 16 Fantasy Football Sleepers
🚨 HEADS UP 🚨 These are sleepers. They will not mimic my rankings 100%. This is chasing upside and often carries more risk.
And since it’s Week 16, I’m going to mix it up a bit. You don’t need a paragraph per player at this point. So, using APA (link above), I’ll give you some good and bad matchups for fringe starters (aka, sleepers or possible benchables). This does NOT mean the good are must-starts or the bad need to be benched everywhere. These are simply a look at potential upside plays and players you might think twice about with a quality replacement on hand.
- Zach Wilson, NYJ (vs. JAX) — You have to have some guts — possibly insane ones — to start Wilson with your playoffs on the line.
- Daniel Jones, NYG (@MIN) — Matt Ryan was just the second quarterback since Week 3 not to reach 17+ fantasy points against the Vikings, and last week was only the second time Jones didn’t hit double-digits.
- Geno Smith, SEA (@KC) — Arguably in must-start territory even with off weeks (and the 49ers are a huge reason for his two worst games).
- Aaron Rodgers, GB (@MIA) — Pretty blah, partly thanks to the thumb, but his last good game came against a similarly vulnerable pass defense (TEN in Week 11). Let’s get that horse blood pumping… or whatever Rodgers is on these days.
- Brock Purdy, SF (vs. WAS) — It’s been fun, but the Commanders have reached the top spot for the toughest QB matchup.
- Taylor Heinicke, WSH (@SF) — The 49ers are still as scary as you can get, which makes it hard to trust my boy.
- Trevor Lawrence, JAX (@NYJ) — Man, it would be hard to bench Lawrence during this run, but on a short week and against the Jets? You could argue it… and if it’s raining with 15+ mph wind, that’s concerning enough.
- Leonard Fournette, TB (@ARI) — Fournette moved back into the lead last week, and if the Buccaneers are going to give him 15+ touches, it’s hard to bench him against the Cardinals, who just let Latavius Murray and Marlon Mack have big games… same as, well, pretty much every opponent.
- Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, MIA (vs. GB) — If Wilson doesn’t return, Mostert is a must-start, but even if Wilson is back and in the lead, you could be in a position to start either. The Packers have allowed three 20+ point scores (and two double-digit games in the Eagles matchup) since Week 10.
- Deon Jackson, Zack Moss, IND (vs. LAC) — If you think the Colts will be playing catch-up, Jackson looks to be the play. If you think the Colts can hang with the Chargers, Moss is the option. Both are risky; both are upside/risk RB3s in this matchup.
- Chuba Hubbard, D’Onta Foreman, CAR (vs. DET) — Hubbard has been the better option for a few weeks, but against the Lions — now the most worrisome running back matchup — neither is worth the risk.
- Brian Robinson, Antonio Gibson, WSH (@SF) — Robinson looks good but still needs more-than-average rest, as he admitted there is still some pain from the gunshot wounds. Antonio Gibson is a nice Flex play most weeks, but the 49ers have barely allowed any double-digit scores, let alone two in the same week.
- Tyler Allgeier, Cordarrelle Patterson, ATL (@BAL) — Allgeier has been a great fill-in for many fantasy teams, and he’s still worth the pickup off waivers if out there, but if you’re strong at running back, both he and Patterson are in a tough spot (in Baltimore).
- Royce Freeman, HOU (@TEN) — There is no way I want to risk Freeman in Week 16, and on top of that, the Texan heads to Tennessee to face one of the worst running back matchups.
- Garrett Wilson, NYJ (@JAX) — Zach Wilson is dumpster juice, but in his first start back, he looked competent and targeted Wilson plenty. The Jaguars are a great matchup, but as mentioned, the weather could be a concern. It would be tough to sit Garrett Wilson with this matchup, and given the volume.
- Darius Slayton, NYG (@MIN) — Slayton has cooled recently, but the Vikings offer a “get right” matchup, which could be a shootout if good Danny Dimes cashes in.
- Chris Moore, HOU (@TEN) — If you’re going to risk a Texan (and Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins remain sidelined), Moore is in play, as the Titans have a great run defense but are beyond awful against the pass.
- DJ Moore, CAR (vs. DET) — Many didn’t want to risk Moore last week, but here we are again with another good matchup for Moore (and another Moore to like… more).
- Zay Jones, JAX (@NYJ) — I know… I’m the Zay Jones guy. If we knew Sauce Gardner would stick on Christian Kirk, Jones would remain a great play. The issue is that while Gardner primarily plays one side (pre-snap left 84%, per PFF), Kirk spends just 10-11% on either outside position while Jones is 31 and 36%. So, Jones becomes riskier than he has been. Where I did/would have him in the WR2 convo, he’s now more WR3 boom/bust.
- Brandon Aiyuk, SF (vs. WAS) — I do think Aiyuk rebounds, but it might not be until Week 17, as the Commanders haven’t allowed more than 12.9 points to any receiver except Justin Jefferson since Week 6. The 12.9 points is a startable number, but there is risk here .
- Colts WRs (vs. LAC) — The Chargers kept Jaylen Waddle in check and limited Tyreek Hill, and there have been just five double-digit scores allowed since Week 5, and three of those names were Hill, Davante Adams and DeAndre Hopkins.
- Rams WRs (vs. DEN) — Baker Mayfield. Denver Broncos. No thanks. Although… prayers up for Bloch.
— Jake Ciely (@allinkid) December 20, 2022
- Robert Tonyan, GB (@MIA) — It’s been hit-and-miss (George Kittle did little, but Jordan Akins had a nice game) and Aaron Rodgers has a ton of weapons now, but Tonyan is in a good spot.
- Mark Andrews, BAL (vs. ATL) — Look, it’s tight end, and if Lamar Jackson returns — and probably even if he doesn’t — there are barely any tight ends we can trust to have a good game… each week. Andrews has too much upside to sit for another tight end streamer (yes, Andrews is a streamer) against the Falcons.
- Chigoziem Okonkwo, TEN (vs. HOU) — If Treylon Burks returns, this will be a bit dicier, but at least the Texans have been dominated by every good tight end this season (Cole Kmet, in Week 3, wasn’t good yet).
- Hunter Henry, NE (vs. CIN) — Only two double-digit scores, and the Bengals have been solid against tight ends this year.
- Juwan Johnson, NO (@CLE) — It’s hard to bench any tight end with Johnson’s upside, but with teams running all over the Browns, they rarely pass to their tight ends, which has resulted in just two scores over 7.0 points (14.1 and 10.5) and two touchdowns for the tight end position.
- Cole Kmet, CHI (vs. BUF) — The Bills defense has not been perfect against the pass this year, but outside of Travis Kelce, no one but TJ Hockenson has put up over 6.8 points, and Hock had just 8.0.
Fun with Rankings!
My Christmas Ornaments
Christmas is here, and Nando suggested my Top 15 Christmas ornaments (with pics) because “people would [go crazy] for that one!” Well, I hadn’t decorated for Christmas in a few years given the singleness sad — no, I’m not trying to get sympathy — but I don’t even have 15 original ornaments. However! Nicole and I started up our tradition of getting a new one every year, and I did have a few left from my decorating fun years. We actually cheated and started with three brand new ones this year, and get ready to puke over the sweetness of one.
7. New York Giants Ball — One of my original originals, and has a bit peeling off. Go Giants!
6. Jesus, Mary, Joseph — This is an old hand-me-down. Doesn’t “fit” with the rest, but it’s a family ornament and definitely has an old school feel.
5. Poker — Another one of my first “living on my own” ornaments, and it’s poker themed. Surprised?
4. New York Mets Snowman — It’s Mets. It’s a snowman. It’s cute and fun.
3. Friends Central Perk Couch — The first of three new ornaments we got together this year. Love Friends, and Nicole surprised me with the Friends Experience in New York this year.
1B. Engagement Snowpeople Couple — My sister bought this for us as an early Christmas present with our engagement date on it.
1A. Swipe Right Cellphone — We put on an app. Yup. That actually happens. So, we found a cellphone you can write on, and we put some callbacks to our profiles and what we love about each other. Yea, we’re sickening, aren’t we?
Week 16 Fantasy Football Projections
🚨 HEADS UP 🚨 These can differ from my rankings, and my ranks are the order I’d start players outside of added context, such as, “Need highest upside, even if risky.” Also, based on 4-point TDs for QB, 6-point rest, and Half-PPR
Projections Download Link
***These are NOT updated Sunday morning, FYI***
Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings
🚨 HEADS UP 🚨
- We might have found a solution to the rankings widget issue by using Fantasy Nation (via Football Diehards). All three scores work and are editable by me (unlike before), and the widget will let you scroll on Android (browser) without using two fingers! YAY!
- DST is found under the “Standard Tab”
- Updated regularly, so check all the way up to lineups locking.
TWITTER THREAD ON WEATHER
JAX/NYJ: heavy rain, 15+ wind
— Would try to find Lawrence, Kirk, Zay, G Wilson replacements – Lawrence/Kirk/Wilson might be tough given so many weather concerns – Etienne RB2
BUF/CHI: 25-30 wind
— Can’t see benching Allen, Diggs, Fields – other pass catchers no!
— Jake Ciely (@allinkid) December 22, 2022
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)